Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 55–62 | Cite as

Investigation of the Observed Localized Corrosion in an Industrial Steel Cation Exchanger Vessel

  • Muhammad Shirjeel Khan
  • Muhammad Ammar Anjum
  • Aqeel Ahmad Taimoor
  • Fida Mohammad
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


Cation exchanger (steel vessel), containing polymeric beads as exchange resin, in a process industry is found to be affected from localized “pitting” corrosion during the turnaround. There are two main cycles of such exchanger’s operation, i.e., normal and regeneration cycles, differentiated by passing canal/well water and sulfuric acid solution, respectively. Corrosion rates by Tafel techniques are measured for both these cycles. The different corrosion rates for canal and well water are explained as per reduction reaction equilibrium. During regeneration cycle, certain other tests like cyclic polarization and potentiostatic polarization are also conducted to understand the cause of the localized corrosion. Potentiostatic tests' observations revealed an interesting phenomenon probably explaining the failure not elucidated by the conventional corrosion measurement techniques.


Carbon steel Sulphuric acid Cathodic anodic polarization Potentiostatic measurements Acid corrosion Pitting corrosion 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the cooperation provided by Mr. Zaheer Anwar at Fauji Fertilizer Corporation Pakistan, and his taking the initiative in industrial academia collaboration.


  1. 1.
    Bauman, W.C., Eichhorn, J.: Fundamental properties of a synthetic cation exchange resin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 69, 2830–2836 (1947)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Company, D.C.: Dowex ion exchange resins understanding silica removal by ion exchange. Technical Report, Dow Chemical CompanyGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Li, P., Tan, T.C., Lee, J.Y.: Impedance spectra of the anodic dissolution of mild steel in sulphuric acid. Corros. Sci. 38, 1935–1955 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Zvezdov, A., Ishigure, K.: The effect of corrosion particles present in water solutions on the behavior of strong acid cation-exchange resins during the process of cobalt removal. Desalination 154, 153–160 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Risacher, F., Alonso, H., Salazar, C.: The origin of brines and salts in chilean salars: a hydrochemical review. Earth-Sci. Rev. 63, 249–293 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    McGarvey, F.X.: Introduction to Industrial Ion Exchange. Syborn Chemical Inc., Birmingham (1988)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Applebaum, S.B.: Deminralization by Ion Exchange. Academic Press, New York (1968)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Prosek, T., Thierry, D., Taxén, C., Maixner, J.: Effect of cations on corrosion of zinc and carbon steel covered with chloride deposits under atmospheric conditions. Corros. Sci. 49, 2676–2693 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sathiyanarayanan, S., Jeyaprabha, C., Muralidharan, S., Venkatachari, G.: Inhibition of iron corrosion in 0.5 M sulphuric acid by metal cations. Appl. Surf. Sci. 252, 8107–8112 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Panossian, Z., de Almeida, N.L., de Sousa, R.M.F., de Souza Pimenta, G., Marques, L.B.S.: Corrosion of carbon steel pipes and tanks by concentrated sulfuric acid: a review. Corros. Sci. 58, 1–11 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hines, J.G., Williamson, R.C.: Anodic behavior of mild steel in strong sulphuric acid—I. steady state conditions. Corros. Sci. 4, 201–210 (1964)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sueptitz, R., Tschulik, K., Uhlemann, M., Schultz, L., Gebert, A.: Effect of high gradient magnetic fields on the anodic behaviour and localized corrosion of iron in sulphuric acid solutions. Corros. Sci. 53, 3222–3230 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Pitzer, K.S., Roy, R.N., Silvester, L.F.: Thermodynamics of electrolytes 7. Sulphuric acid. Thermochim. Acta 532, 65–77 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Poursaee, A.: Determining the appropriate scan rate to perform cyclic polarization test on the steel bars in concrete. Electrochim. Acta 55, 1200–1206 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Silverman, D.C.: Tutorial on cyclic potentiodynamic polarization technique. Corrosion, Paper 229 (1998)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Whitten, K.W., Davis, R.E., Peck, M.L.: General Chemistry, 6th edn. Saunders College Publishing, Orlando (2000)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Damon, G.H.: Acid corrosion of steel; effect of carbon content on the corrodibility of steel in sulfuric acid. Ind. Eng. Chem. 33, 67–69 (1941)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sarkar, P., Kumar, P., Manna, M.K., Chakraborti, P.C.: Microstructural influence on the electrochemical corrosion behaviour of dual-phase steels in 3.5% NaCl solution. Mater. Lett. 59, 2488–2491 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sanchez, J., Fullea, J., Andrade, C., Gaitero, J.J., Porro, A.: AFM study of the early corrosion of a high strength steel in a diluted sodium chloride solution. Corros. Sci. 50, 1820–1824 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Deyab, M., El-Rehim, S.A., Keera, S.: Study of the effect of association between anionic surfactant and neutral copolymer on the corrosion behaviour of carbon steel in cyclohexane propionic acid. Colloids Surf. A 348, 170–176 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Free, M.L.: Understanding the effect of surfactant aggregation on corrosion inhibition of mild steel in acidic medium. Corros. Sci. 44, 2865–2870 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Migahed, M.A., Azzam, E.M.S., Al-Sabagh, A.M.: Corrosion inhibition of mild steel in 1 M sulfuric acid solution using anionic surfactant. Mater. Chem. Phys. 85, 273–279 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bosch, R., Hubrecht, J., Bogaerts, W., Syrett, B.: Electrochemical frequency modulation: a new electrochemical technique for online corrosion monitoring. Corrosion 57, 60–70 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Solomon, M., Umoren, S., Udosoro, I., Udoh, A.: Inhibitive and adsorption behaviour of carboxymethyl cellulose on mild steel corrosion in sulphuric acid solution. Corros. Sci. 52, 1317–1325 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Fekry, A.M., Ameer, M.A.: Electrochemical investigation on the corrosion and hydrogen evolution rate of mild steel in sulphuric acid solution. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 36, 11207–11215 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Amin, M.A., Ibrahim, M.M.: Corrosion and corrosion control of mild steel in concentrated H2SO4 solutions by a newly synthesized glycine derivative. Corros. Sci. 53, 873–885 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Shirjeel Khan
    • 1
  • Muhammad Ammar Anjum
    • 1
  • Aqeel Ahmad Taimoor
    • 1
  • Fida Mohammad
    • 1
  1. 1.Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Science & TechnologySwabiPakistan

Personalised recommendations